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At the Top

The Department of Surgery hosted another successful Annual Research Summit at Union South on Wednesday, January 21. This sixth annual event brought together 250 research-minded colleagues to share ideas and encourage collaborations. Our invited speakers delivered insightful, thought-provoking presentations. Interim Director of the UW Carbone Cancer Center Howard Bailey, MD, presented “Clinical Trials in the Era of Electronic Health Records,” and Monica Bertagnolli, MD, chief of surgical oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, offered “Precision Medicine: Where Are We Going and How Will We Get There?” Faculty members, students and researchers from our department also presented on various topics. The 2015 Research Update from Chairman K. Craig Kent, MD, gave us an inside look at the department’s research funding and highlighted the innovative research being conducted by the Department’s faculty. The poster session attracted 142 submissions. Winners included:

  • Student: Ellie Chen (Luke Funk lab), Louis C. Bernhardt, MD, Best Clinical, Outcomes, or Educational Science Poster Award
  • Student: Yash Somnay (Herb Chen lab), Debra A. Hullet, PhD, Best Basic or Translational Science Poster Award
  • Research Specialist: Ajitha Dammalapati (Herb Chen lab), Charles N. Ford, MD, Best Clinical, Outcomes, or Educational Science Poster Award
  • Resident: Lung-Yi “Felix” Lee, MD (Dave Foley lab), K. Craig Kent, MD, Best Basic or Translational Science Poster Award
  • Resident: Christina Papageorge, MD (Greg Kennedy lab), Layton F. Rikkers, MD, Best Oral Presentation

Thank you to the entire Research Summit committee, with a special thanks to Mary Nutt and the event co-chairs, Timothy King, MD, PhD, and Clifford Cho, MD. Visit our website at to view Dr. Kent’s Research Update.

Honors & Awards

Timothy McCulloch, MD, was recently named the first Charles N. Ford Professor in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. This five-year renewable appointment will allow Dr. McCulloch to pursue a host of research and scholarly activities. Congratulations, Dr. McCulloch!

The membership committee of the American Surgical Association, the oldest and most prestigious surgical society in the United States, has recommended Shahab Akhter, MD, and Jon Odorico, MD, for membership. A formal vote will take place in April.


Congratulations to Dawn Elfenbein, MD, current Endocrine Fellow, who was recently elected to the Association for Academic Surgery (AAS) Ethics Committee, and Reese Randle, MD, incoming Endocrine Fellow, who was recently elected to the AAS Membership Committee.


The Surgical Oncology Outcomes Research and Awareness Fund received a $2,000 gift in memory of the granter’s husband, who passed away of pancreatic cancer. The gift will support the pancreatic cancer research being conducted by Emily Winslow, MD. Copyright © 2016 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System